Scooter's First Check Up
So this week, Scooter made it to 1000 KM's which signalled that it was time to take him in for his break in tune up. The Yamaha C3 doesn't require a lot of maintenance, but the first service is usually important to make sure that everything is tight and working properly. I took him in this past Wednesday during that ugly patch of weather that we had and just picked him up today. In addition to the usual service stuff, I also asked the shop to throw in some performance variator weights. I got these from a group buy on a site called C3Rider. The Dr. Pulley Slider Weights are lighter than the original weights (4g vs 6g) and are said to improve acceleration and top end speed due to their unique design. For $25 bucks plus shipping, why not.
The Ride Home...
I've been riding my scooter pretty much totally stock for the past three months. Except for an oil change at 600KM to Motul 5100 motor oil, I've done nothing to improve its performance. At the same time, I also refreshed the final drive oil using stock Yamaha Gear Oil. Although the scooter did seem smoother after swapping out the totally silvery crap that leaked out of my engine, there was no improvement in top speed or climbing performance.
After rolling out of the parking lot, I noticed immediately that the acceleration was different. Before, it would slowly take off and accelerate evenly. After the service and the change to the Dr. Pulley 4 gram slider weights, the scooter now accelerates just a little slower, but then takes off like a rocket after about 10 KM/h. You can really feel the scooter take off. Since there is so little horsepower in the 49cc engine, any changes are immediately noticeable and this was definitely noticeable.
Other Performance Increases...
Besides the change in the acceleration, the change in weights have improved mid range power and top end speed. The 10% grade hill that I have to ride up to get home would normally rob me of power quickly and drop my speed to a lowly 30KM/h. With the new pulleys, the speed drops very slowly and bottoms out at 35KM/h in the steepest part of the hill.
On flats, after the initial acceleration and take off, Scooter willingly, and smoothly, makes his way up to 63KM/h which is somewhere just over the 60KM/h mark and right before the Yamaha logo on a Canadian Spedometer. I have also noticed that on downhill slopes, the rev limiter no longer kicks in as quickly nor as harshly. I have yet to find the limit so I'll report back when I can get a good downhill run.
The mid range is very usable, allowing me to easily surge with traffic and keep up smoothly with the twist of the throttle. I am really liking the results of this quick and easy $25.00 upgrade.
What About The Restriction?
The Yamaha C3 does have a washer that restricts top speed slightly at the expense of acceleration and mid range speed. Esentially, it makes the belt ride up on the variator a little higher, taking away a lower gear, while giving you back a higher gear. Since I'm really loving the way that it is driving right now, especially in the mid range, I don't think I'll be removing that washer anytime soon. Even the guy who discovered this modification decided to put the washer back in likely because he felt that it was way more driveable with it in. I'm sure that in flatter locations, this mod would be nice.
Any Other Mods Coming Up?
Despite the fact that there may be a new motorcycle in my future as I'm out taking a Motorcycle Riding Course right now in preparation for my Class 6 Road Test, I will probably keep my beloved Yamaha C3 around. It's way too much fun to ride around.
I do want to pick up a new exhaust for it so that it makes a bit more noise in traffic instead of running silent and freaking out people at crosswalks. I'm still trying to find a good one that I can buy immediately, instead of having to wait 5 weeks for it to show up. I haven't really been able to find any good information on what sort of performance increases there are from this upgrade though. Hopefully someone with experience can leave a comment here for me.
The other thing that I'll want to do is switch to a proper street tire to reduce rolling resistance. Most of the ones that I've seen are also a bit taller, so they should improve the top speed of the scooter, without screwing up the mid range. I'm all for more top speed, but I won't do it if it screws up my hill climbing. Not to mention, the taller profile should also give me a couple more inches of clearance so I can drop a knee without scraping the center stand, which I've done quite a few times already. Scary.